Archive for the ‘Lashkar-e-Taiba’ Category

Pakistan cracks down on Lashkar-e-Taiba Terrorists

January 17, 2009

Pakistan announced that it has arrested 71 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba and detained 124 more in an effort to crack down on the Islamic militant group believed to be responsible for November’s attacks on the Indian city of Mumbai.

India’s foreign minister insisted that Pakistan must extradite the suspects for trial in India, backing down from his earlier statement that India might accept a trial in Pakistan.

The Associated Press reports that the arrests come as part of Pakistan’s investigation into the attacks, which left 164 people dead and heightened tensions between the neighboring nuclear powers. India and Pakistan have fought three wars since 1947.

By Arthur Bright, Christian Science Monitor

Pakistan insisted it would help India to bring those behind the Mumbai terrorist attacks to justice, saying Thursday it had shut down extremist Web sites and suspected militant training camps, and detained 71 people in a deepening probe.

Still, a top Pakistani official said authorities needed to further investigate information about the attacks provided by archrival India before it could be used to prosecute suspects in court.

Days after the November attacks, the U.N. Security Council declared that Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a charity in Pakistan, was merely a front for the outlawed militant organization.

Pakistan announced that Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Mohammed Saeed and its “operations commander” Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi were among those detained by Islamabad, according to English-language newspaper Dawn in Pakistan.

“We have arrested a total of 124 mid-level and top leaders of JuD in response to a UN resolution — 69 from Punjab, 21 from Sindh, eight from Balochistan and 25 from the NWFP — blocked ….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20090117/w
l_csm/oduo116_1

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Pakistan detains dozens allegedly linked to Mumbai

January 15, 2009

Pakistan has arrested 71 people in a crackdown on groups allegedly linked to the Mumbai attacks, officials said Thursday, while adding that the information India has handed over needs work before it can be used as evidence in court.

Still, Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik dodged a question on whether he was conceding that the plot — which killed 164 people in India’s commercial capital and raised tension between the nuclear-armed rivals — was hatched on Pakistani soil.

By MUNIR AHMAD, Associated Press Writer

India says a Pakistan-based militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, masterminded the November attack. In the days afterward, the U.N. Security Council declared that Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a charity in Pakistan, was merely a front for the outlawed militant organization.

On Thursday, the Interior Ministry said 71 leaders of the groups had been arrested since then — nearly a score more than previously announced. Another 124 have been placed under surveillance and must register their every move with police.

Ministry chief Rehman Malik initially said that 124 people had been detained. But his deputy, Kamal Shah, later told The Associated Press that Malik had misspoken.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090115/a
p_on_re_as/as_pakistan_india

Pakistan state not linked to Mumbai attack: Britain

January 13, 2009

Britain’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that he believed the Pakistan state did not direct the Mumbai attacks, contradicting accusations from the Indian government that state agencies were involved.

“I have said publicly that I do not believe that the attacks were directed by the Pakistani state and I think it’s important to restate that,” David Miliband told a news conference.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said last week the Mumbai attacks must have had support from some of Pakistan‘s official agencies. Islamabad has denied this, blaming the raid on “non-state actors.”

By Krittivas Mukherjee, Reuters

Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee (L) shares a light ... 
Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee (L) shares a light moment with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband in New Delhi on January 13. Miliband said on Tuesday the Pakistan state had not directed the attacks on Mumbai, but urged Islamabad to fulfill its promise to root out Islamic militant groups.(AFP/Prakash Singh)

India has provided Pakistan data from satellite phones used by the attackers and what it describes as the confession of a surviving gunman, part of a dossier of evidence.

Miliband’s statement highlighted differences between India and some Western allies. While India believes that agencies like Pakistan’s military spy agency were involved, diplomats have hinted there is not enough evidence to show this.

Miliband said it was clear the attacks originated from Pakistan, and Islamabad had to crack down on the militants operating on its soil, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which has been blamed for the Mumbai attacks.

“We are absolutely clear about the origin of the terrorist attack, and the responsibility that exists in Pakistan to bring the perpetrators to justice,” Miliband said.

“What is relevant is the approach of the Pakistani state to the LeT organization and the way the Pakistani state takes on the menace of the LeT organization,” he added.

Related:
Pakistanis Are Armed, Dangerous

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/2009011
3/ts_nm/us_india_pakistan

Pakistan: United Against The Wrong Enemy

January 1, 2009

IF PAKISTAN’S leaders had ever united against Islamist militancy as they have against India over the past three weeks, their country would not be the violent mess that it is. Ever since India alleged, with subsequent corroboration from America and Britain, that Pakistani terrorists carried out last month’s mass murder in Mumbai, the country’s politicians, generals and fire-breathing journalists have been declaring themselves ready for war—if that’s what India chooses.

India’s government, despite huge pressure from its own bellicose media, has been more restrained. It has said it does not intend to attack its neighbour. But it has demanded that Pakistan dismantle an anti-Indian militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET), that has carried out numerous atrocities in India, apparently including the outrage on Mumbai. It has so far relied on diplomacy, particularly through America and Britain, to make this point.

The Economist (UK)

But India is frustrated. Pakistan has taken some steps against Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD), an Islamist charity that is a front for LET, which was formally banned by Pakistan, under American pressure, in 2002. But it is not clear at this stage how far they go. On December 11th, a day after the UN Security Council banned JUD, Pakistan said it had also banned it. It has since arrested the group’s leaders, including Hafiz Saeed, a professor of engineering, who founded LET and JUD in the 1980s. It has also arrested many JUD activists, sealed scores of the charity’s offices and stopped publication of at least six JUD newspapers.

Initially, it also said it would take over the group’s many hospitals and schools—allegedly including over 170 schools in Punjab province alone. But it has since seemed to backtrack on this. According to one minister, the government will set up a new charity to run these services. According to a senior official in Punjab, some of JUD’s facilities may be left in the same Islamist hands.

They may include a vast jihadist citadel that JUD operates in….

Related:
Pakistan’s Ugly, Dangerous Game

Read the rest:
http://www.economist.com/world/asia/disp
layStory.cfm?story_id=12818192&so
urce=most_commented

Pakistan in “denial” over Mumbai carnage: India

December 31, 2008

India on Wednesday said Pakistan was in “denial” over the Mumbai attacks and refusing to acknowledge evidence linking the gunmen who carried out the assault with elements in Pakistan.

“If anyone is in a state of denial, anything that we give will be denied,” Home Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters.

The minister said the Pakistani father of the sole surviving gunman had confirmed to Pakistan television that his son was involved.

“If that is not evidence then what is?” Chidambaram said.

AFP

The November attacks in Mumbai left 172 dead, including nine of the gunmen whom India insists were trained by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group and abetted by unnamed Pakistani agencies.

Last week Pakistan’s acting High Commissioner Afrasiab Mehdi Hashmi was summoned to the Indian foreign ministry and given a letter purportedly written by the sole surviving gunman, Mohammed Ajmal Amir Iman.

The letter said he was from Pakistan and that he wanted to meet Pakistan’s top envoy in New Delhi.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081231/wl_s
thasia_afp/indiaattackspakistandiplom
acy_081231114723

Pakistan’s Mumbai Probe Finds Pakistanis Heavily Involved

December 31, 2008

Pakistan’s own investigation of terror attacks in Mumbai has begun to show substantive links between the 10 gunmen and an Islamic militant group that its powerful spy agency spent years supporting, say people with knowledge of the probe.

At least one top leader of militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, or “Army of the Pure,” captured in a raid earlier this month in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, has confessed the group’s involvement in the attack as India and the U.S. have alleged, according to a senior Pakistani security official.

By ZAHID HUSSAIN, MATTHEW ROSENBERG and PETER WONACOTT
The Wall Street Journal

FILE  INDIA OUT. CREDIT MANDATORY  ...
Above: Nov. 26: Azam Amir Kasab walks at the Chatrapathi Sivaji Terminal railway station in Mumbai, India. AP

The disclosure could add new international pressure on Pakistan to accept that the attacks, which left 171 dead in India, originated within its borders and to prosecute or extradite the suspects. That raises difficult and potentially destabilizing issues for the country’s new civilian government, its military and the spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence — which is conducting interrogations of militants it once cultivated as partners.

A probe could add new international pressure on Pakistan to accept that the attacks originated within its borders.

Pakistani security officials say a top Lashkar commander, Zarar Shah, has admitted a role in the Mumbai attack during interrogation, according to the security official, who declined to be identified discussing the investigation. “He is singing,” the security official said of Mr. Shah. The admission, the official said, is backed up by U.S. intercepts of a phone call between Mr. Shah and one of the attackers at the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, the site of a 60-hour confrontation with Indian security forces.

Read the rest:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1230
68308893944123.html

Pakistan Cancels All Military Leave; Heightened Worry of War

December 26, 2008

A senior military official says Pakistan has canceled leave for members of the armed forces because of tension with India following the deadly Mumbai attacks.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity Friday because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

By ZARAR KHAN, Associated Press Writer

India has said the gunmen who carried out last month’s attacks were Pakistani and had connections to the Pakistan-based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba. Pakistan has demanded India share evidence of its allegations.

Both countries have said they want to avoid conflict over the attacks, which killed more than 160 people. But India has not ruled out the use of force, and Pakistan has said it will respond to any attack and has placed its military on alert.

Related?
Pakistan Prime Minister Gilani: No Question of War With India

India, Pakistan Hysteria and Jaundiced Eye: Distrust, Discontent Since Mumbai Has Not Abated

December 25, 2008

A certain hysteria has set in among Indian and Pakistani people — many of which watch the other side with a jaundiced eye.  Both sides continue a war of words and bluster weeks after the attacks in Mubai.

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Words like unguided missiles have raised the spectre of an air war between India and Pakistan.

Pakistan’s fighter aircraft are forward deployed and are flying ear-shattering sorties over its major cities, creating a war hysteria among its public.

By Sujan Dutta  
The Telegraph (London, UK)

Pakistani fighter jets on Sunday attacked suspected Taliban ...
Pakistani jets

In India, a preparation for the worst is not accompanied by a declaration of intent for hostilities. But the chief of the Indian Air Force’s largest command today chose to claim that the IAF is capable of hitting “5,000 targets” in Pakistan.

“The IAF has earmarked 5,000 targets in Pakistan. But whether we will cross the LoC or the International Border to hit the enemy targets will have to be decided by the political leadership of the country,” P.K. Barbora, the air officer commanding-in-chief of Western Air Command, said in Guwahati today

The words evoked shock and awe among diplomats because the political leadership is signalling otherwise. Air headquarters in New Delhi may still tamp down what Barbora has had to say. But that is in the very nature of brinkmanship.

It is now time for bluster, not boom-boom.

It is apt. Inside the defence ministry in South Block, army, navy and air force officers display letters and postcards from citizens who are praising the armed forces and are urging war. Some of the postcards are colourful with “Attack Pakistan” written in bold capital letters.

The remarks of Barbora, the decorated, chain-smoking officer, are in keeping with the mood that is gripping the military. They do not constitute a call to arms.

“Air power is lethal and escalatory and is therefore to be used with great caution,” said Air Marshal (retired) Padamjit Singh “Pudding” Ahluwalia, Barbora’s immediate predecessor as the Western Air Command chief. “And war plans are based on objectives. What kind of objective you must have is the crucial decision that has to be handed down. Ideally, you must have the capability to defeat the adversary’s will to fight,” he added.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraphindia.com/108122
5/jsp/frontpage/story_10299108.jsp

Related:
http://salmanlatif.wordpress.com/2008/1
2/26/indo-pak-tension-the-many-facets/

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War of Words Too Intense; Coverage Too “Hyped”?
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By Daniel Pepper
Christian Science Monitor

Emerging from decades of government control and regulations, India’s media are quickly evolving into a boisterous, zealous fourth estate, most observers agree. But coverage of the 67-hour Mumbai (Bombay) terrorist attacks has caused unprecedented condemnation, especially toward 24-hour television news channels. Critics describe it as “TV terror” for showing gory scenes, being too aggressive, and often reporting incorrect information as fact.

“They don’t need to apologize as much as they need to introspect – figure out how to operate in a time of crisis,” says Dipankar Gupta, sociology professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

A vendor sells newspapers featuring front page stories and photos ... 
A vendor sells newspapers featuring front page stories and photos from the attacks in Mumbai, India, Sunday Nov. 30, 2008.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

On the evening of Nov. 26, well-coordinated attacks against two five-star hotels, a hospital, a popular cafe, a railway station, and a Jewish center brought the financial capital of India to its knees, leaving at least 171 dead and more than 230 injured.

In the following days, critics say, many Indian journalists were overly dramatic, sensationalist, and quick to report live “exclusives” of unconfirmed rumors. Many say TV anchors, who are minor celebrities in India, were overwrought with emotion and were quick to blame Pakistan for the attacks.

“It’s high time we realize and accept that we are at fault,” said Shishir Joshi, editorial director of Mid-Day, a Mumbai newspaper. “We did well getting into the line of fire, but from an ethical point of view we screwed up big-time.”

Recognizing the missteps in coverage, the recently created National Broadcaster Association revealed a new set of rules for the industry last week. The guidelines ban broadcasting of footage that could reveal security operations and live contact with hostages or attackers.

The association, which represents many of the country’s top news channels, hammered out the new regulations after several meetings with government officials. At the same time, India’s Parliament is considering the creation of a broadcasting regulatory agency for private news channels.

Read the rest:
http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/1224/p01s01-wosc.html

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Pakistan Warns India

Associated Press

Pakistan warned India on Thursday not to launch a strike against it and vowed to respond to any attack — a sign that the relationship between the two nuclear powers remains strained in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.

Though the South Asian rivals have engaged in tit-for-tat accusations in recent weeks, both sides have repeatedly said they hope to avoid conflict. But India has not ruled out the use of force in response to the attacks, which it blames on a Pakistan-based militant group.

“We want peace, but should not be complacent about India,” Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters in his hometown of Multan in central Pakistan. “We should hope for the best but prepare for the worst.”

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since they were created in the bloody partition of the Indian subcontinent at independence from Britain in 1947.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani echoed Qureshi’s sentiments Thursday and urged the international community to pressure India to defuse the current tension.

He also repeated Pakistan’s demand that India provide evidence to support its claim that the 10 gunmen who killed at least 164 people in Mumbai last month were Pakistani and had links to the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,472863,00.html

America’s Top Intelligence Officer In India for Terror Talks

December 22, 2008

A top US Intelligence official on Monday held series of meetings with Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and senior officials during when the progress in investigations into the Mumbai terror attacks was reviewed.

Director of National Intelligence John Michel McConnell, who flew into the Capital, is also believed to have met National Security Advisor MK Narayanan and discussed issues relating to evidence gathered so far in the probe in the 26/11 terror strikes, official sources said.

Hindustan Times
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The sources said McConnell had a 30-minute long meeting with the Union Home Minister during which the two sides touched upon the progress in the probe into the terror strikes at the country’s financial capital. US Ambassador David C Mulford was also present at the meeting.

Director of National Intelligence (DNI) is considered to be the most powerful intelligence official of the United States government under directs command and control of the US President and reports to him only.

The role of the DNI is to effectively integrate foreign, military and domestic intelligence in defence of the homeland and of the US’s interests abroad from its 16 spy agencies.

McConnell later met investigating officials including those from the US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) who are probing the Mumbai attacks, the sources said.

The US Intelligence head also met India’s Intelligence chiefs and discussed the evidence gathered during the probe.

DNI came into existence after the audacious 9/11 attacks in the US. India is hoping to benefit from DNI’s experiences in countering terrorism while it was formulating the policies for a proposed National Investigating Agency, a bill for which was cleared by Parliament.

Related:
India terror group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, the new Al Qaeda?

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?id=fbb8c0c5-fb39-4d5f-
8ab3-20ec9a2e63ba&ParentID=223b46ec-23e3-4509-9f0
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mbai+terror+probe

India: (Slighly Veiled) Threat To Pakistan

December 21, 2008

India is keeping ‘open’ the option of a military strike on Pakistani soil even as the two hotels attacked in Mumbai reopened their doors.

By Rahul Bedi in Mumbai
As the Taj Mahal Palace hotel and the nearby Trident-Oberoi invited guests through their doors following the attacks that killed more than 170 people, the Indian government made clear that it held Pakistan responsible.

Related:
Pakistan: Outsiders Need Not Speculate on Terror, Mumbai: “Irresponsible”

India To Pakistan: “Military Option Still On The Table”

“Terrorism remains a scourge for our region. If a country [Pakistan] cannot keep the assurances that it has given, then it obliges us to consider the entire range of options that exist to protect our interests and people from this menace,” said Pranab Mukherjee, the Indian foreign minister.

Mr Mukherjee and the defence minister A K Antony met India’s three service chiefs and senior security officials on Saturday to consider all possible scenarios against their nuclear rival and neighbour, which they believe has given shelter to Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Islamist group accused of masterminding the Mumbai attacks.

Guests have already begun to trickle into the Trident, with about 100 of the 550 rooms booked and all four restaurants operational for the first full day of business in just over three weeks.

Earlier a private, multi-faith ceremony “to pray for solace and a safer future in the days ahead” was held at the hotel.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india
/3884110/India-threatens-Pakistan-as-Mumbai-hot
els-reopen.html